Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The rudimentary umbilical vesicle of some fishes.
“Some of our favorites -- the oil-drop paperweight ($125), the 1997 Al Gore Hammer Award for innovative achievements ($100) and Petey the Petroleum Loving Whale ($50) -- were quickly bid up to the asking prices.”
“When Robert Millikan conducted his famous oil-drop experiments in 1910 and 1911, his purpose was to measure the electric charge on an electron.”
“Soon thereafter (in 1912) Robert A. Millikan made the first precision measurement of the electron charge with the oil-drop method, which led to a Physics Prize for him in 1923.”
“Robert A. Millikan (18681953) established that electric charge always consists of an integral multiple of a unit charge, which he determined with great accuracy in his oil-drop experiment.”
“This outcome necessitated the revision of the Millikan oil-drop value from 4.774 to 4.803 X 10-10 e.s.u. (revealing that systematic errors had been made in the measurement of the viscosity of air, a quantity entering into the oil-drop method).”
“But you cannot mix with it mentally; -- You circulate only as an oil-drop in its current.”
“The famed oil-drop experiment of 1909 demonstrated that electrical charge was quantized, and by implication proved the existence of subatomic particles.”
“Among other anecdotes, Goodstein discusses Millikan’s oil-drop experiment, cold fusion, the case of Jan Hendrik Schön at Bell Laboratories, a little-known case where a Caltech postdoc apparently falsified a figure in a paper, and the successful discovery of high-temperature superconductivity.”
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